Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tips for beating seasonal allergies

It's spring again, which means April showers, May flowers, and sneezing. How can you beat seasonal allergies? Here's a few tips to help you beat the runny nose and watery eyes this year.

1) An over-the-counter medicine like Benadryl works wonders, but it can make you sleepy. Try the drugstore generic version of Loratidine, which is likely to be much cheaper and doesn't cause as much drowsiness. Take it at night to avoid waking up with allergy symptoms.

2) Buy a steam cleaner (they're easy to locate online). Hit your walls and where the carpet meets the wall with hot steam to drive out allergens.

3) Invest in sheets and especially pillowcases that expel allergens.  Even if it's just for spring and summer, where you sleep and breathe 8 hours a day can make a big difference in the strength of your allergy symptoms.

4) Don't leave car windows open and wash it regularly. With pollen coating most cars during it's heavy season, it's easy for it to float in your windows and settle on fabric seats, irritating you during your ride. Wash the pollen off the car on a weekly basis to keep sniffles to a minimum.

5) Invest in allergy shots. Usually given over a period of time, these can be pricey without insurance but set you up to enjoy the whole season with little to no allergy symptoms. Talk to your doctor about whether this will be a good fit for you.